Yahoo! submitted a discussion proposal today to the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) to consider one possible approach to combining the CLEAR Ad Notice program supported by the nearly 6,000 members of the Digital Advertising Initiative with the newly released Do Not Track features in web browsers.
Industry’s efforts to deploy the Advertising Option Icon have gained significant momentum. Yahoo! has surpassed 1.5 TRILLION impressions of the icon ourselves and has recently expanded coverage to the EU. Google recently announced upcoming icon coverage for all of AdSense ads being served on hundreds of thousands websites. Most major web browsers recently released features that align with calls for a “Do Not Track” solution to online behavioral advertising – although each company has taken a different approach to tackle the challenge. Yahoo!’s goal is to try to find a way to combine the best of the new browser-based approaches with the existing Advertising Option Icon developed with the cooperation of thousands of companies participating in the Digital Advertising Alliance.
While competition between companies over privacy practices can drive positive developments for consumers, in this case a better outcome for consumers is to converge on a single approach to exercise control over online behavioral advertising. A single approach can reduce consumer confusion and better align the user experience with the consistency of the CLEAR Ad Notice program managed by the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA). Therefore, we propose that web browser developers align behind a single Do Not Track approach to increase consumer awareness through education and exposure to these features.
Advertising fuels the vast majority of free content and experiences available to consumers across the Internet today. The sites that invest the time, energy, employees, and technology to provide these free experiences have a critical perspective and must be partners in the conversation with the companies that develop web browsers. All stakeholders should seek to find solutions that provide consumer privacy protections and continue to support a content publisher’s ability to monetize their efforts.
Yahoo! strongly supports the standards development process and is submitting these recommendations in the hope that vigorous, enlightened, respectful debate ensues to drive consensus towards a solution that meets the needs of consumers, publishers, advertisers, and the parties that support each.
Sr. Director – Privacy & Data Governance